Learn how to control anxiety whenever you experience it. Here are some things that have worked for other people with anxiety.
- Use proven techniques to help you calm down, such as slow breathing, mindfulness or relaxation.
- Think carefully about how realistic your worries are. How likely is it that the thing you're afraid of will happen? Or if you're telling yourself you 'must' do something, is this really true?
- Try to distract yourself by doing something you enjoy. For example, have an in-depth conversation with someone, read a book, take time out with a pet, go for a walk, or do some gardening.
- Do you have a practical problem that you might be able to do something about? Try brainstorming to come up with some solutions and make a plan to put the best solution into action. Even just going through the problem-solving process can make you feel calmer.
- Are you feeling anxious about not having done something you know you should do? Try taking a small step toward doing that thing. It doesn't matter how small – for example, if you're anxious about tidying the house, start with some dusting.
To manage your anxiety in the long term:
- Gradually learn to confront the things you're anxious about. Start with the least scary, and move up to the things you worry most about.
- Learn about anxiety and teach others about what you’re going through.
- Join a support group in person or online.
- Try to get at least 30 minutes of exercise every day. Exercising changes your brain chemicals and can help to reduce anxiety.
- Spend time with friends and family whose company makes you happy, particularly people who manage stress well.
- Be aware of the signs of depression. Many people with anxiety disorders also have depression.
- Are you dealing with your anxiety by drinking too much alcohol or taking drugs? This can cause even more problems. Talk to your doctor if you're having trouble cutting down.
- Smoking and caffeine can make your anxiety worse. If you smoke, try to quit. Try to cut down on coffee, tea, cola and other food and drinks that contain caffeine.